How to visit Stonehenge….for free?

8 October 2016

As you might have seen on our travel map, since a few weeks we are in the U.K. And of course we can’t leave the United Kingdom without having seen the famous highlights, like Stonehenge! On our way from London to Bristol we suddenly discovered that Stonehenge was on our way, and of course we wanted to take a look.

As always, Valine did her online research on the conditions: opening hours and prices, and we were a bit shocked to find out that visiting Stonhenge costs more than 17 euros per person. And for that money you could not even come close to the stones, but only view them from some 15 meters of distance. But as this is a very famous site, we decided that we should bite the financial bullet and just go!

But we had such a nice surprise when we arrived there…

The first thing we saw when approaching Stonhenge was a huuuugggeee line of colourful campervans, all parked on a dirt road right next to the stones. That was where we had to go! So we decided to skip the official parking lot, save ourselves the parking fee of 5 pounds and park Box right between the colorful campers. We felt right at home. We made a little video of all our neighbors:

From there we could walk right to the stones. There is a walking trail through the grasslands that passes by Stonehenge. At the end of this post you can find the exact directions. This photo we took from the free spot, not bad huh?

visit stonehenge for free

At the end of this post you can find the exact directions to the free spot.

So after this tip on how to visit Stonhenge for free, we want to give you another extra special secret. This we found out because of the people of the colorful campers.

Stonhenge Equinox Celebration

As I wrote before, normally you are not allowed to come close to the stones, let alone touch them. One option to get closer to the stones, is to book a special guided visit. But for the low budget traveler that is probably out of reach.

But see what happened next during our visit….

We visited Stonehenge on the 21st of September: which is the equinox. It turned out that on 4 mornings (equinoxes and solstices) per year there is a special access granted at the stones. During these mornings modern druids and pagans have the opportunity to celebrate on this very special spot. Everyone can come to these celebrations, and it’s a great opportunity to walk between the stones, to touch them and to watch the sunrise from between the giant rocks. And that all for free 😉

stonehenge equinox

To us it was a very special experience. It was not just visit stonehenge for free, but also to get SO close, and to be between all these different kinds of people, each performing their own ritual on this place that means so much for them. We saw people meditating, singing, healing, or even getting married :) You can see more images of the Equinox Celebration event here.

stonehenge-02

So if you happen to be in England around the 21st of March, June, September or December we strongly recommend you to go and watch the sunrise at Stonehenge. These events are not widely promoted, so you might have to go there and ask around, or contact English Heritage for more information.

Directions to visit Stonehenge for free

When you come from Anesbury on the A303, at one point you’ll see Stonehenge on your right side. Then you will see a little dirt road on your right. The GPS coordinates of the road are 51°10’33.0″N 1°49’57.5″W and it looks like this:

Since it’s not allowed to turn right at that point of the road, drive on until the roundabout and make a U-turn there. This way you can approach the dirt road from the other direction and turn left to enter it.

Then, when you have parked your car, walk further on the dirt road until you see the ticket controller and the shuttle bus stop on your right. If you follow the path just a bit more, you’ll notice a gate in the fence on your right. Open the gate and you walk right on the farm land. This is a common walking trail, so you’re doing absolutely nothing illegal by going there. Follow the walking trail over the grassland, and after a few hundred meters you are standing just 50 meters away from Stonehenge. Tadaa!!!

visit-stonehenge-for-free

What is your experience with visiting Stonehenge for free? Dit you try our tip and what was it like? Any questions? We’d love to hear from you in a comment below!

57 comments

  1. Comment by Els

    Els Reply 6 May 2017 at 08:14

    100 pct correct info . we did exactly the same .

  2. Comment by Steve

    Steve Reply 21 May 2017 at 17:27

    Thanks guys, worked perfectly, I am a Brit and feel a bit ashamed that an historic icon is being used as a cash cow

    Steve

  3. Comment by GT

    GT Reply 2 June 2017 at 22:11

    We followed your instructions exactly and were £76 better off for it. Thank you?

  4. Comment by Nick

    Nick Reply 4 June 2017 at 09:10

    Thank you. We went yesterday, 03.06.17 and avoided having to pay just under £40 for the two of us.

  5. Comment by Liz

    Liz Reply 22 June 2017 at 20:58

    Hello, planning on going for the autumn equinox, were you able to park on the dirt road for that as well? Thanks!

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 24 June 2017 at 14:16

      Yes! We were there in Autumn last year :)

      • Comment by Liz

        Liz Reply 30 July 2017 at 23:12

        Awesome! How early would you recommend we arrive?

        • Comment by Valine

          Valine Reply 18 August 2017 at 12:08

          We arrived the afternoon before the celebration around 3PM. By that time there were already lots of vans. The next morning people arrived around one hour before sunrise.

  6. Comment by lindsey

    lindsey Reply 24 June 2017 at 12:58

    Good tip thanks guys! Only thing is, you’re not supposed to turn right across the carriageway so safest to drive on to the roundabout and approach it from the other direction :)

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 19 August 2017 at 16:41

      Ok, thanks for the info!

  7. Comment by Malena

    Malena Reply 25 June 2017 at 19:53

    Thanks for the info! I’m planning a trip this summer, is it possible to go and enter for free using public transport?

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 19 August 2017 at 16:45

      I’m sure it’s possible. You’d just have to find a bus that goes there and then walk to the dirt road. I think you can also access the dirt road from the other side at Larkhill. There is a bus that goes there from Salisbury. I have not tried this myself though.

  8. Comment by David

    David Reply 1 July 2017 at 22:15

    Thank you so much for this. I feel like going right this minute before this gets reported to English Heritage and they block off the road and prevent people from going it. I plan to follow your directions and hopefully it will work out. What a wonderful service you have provided! 17 GBP is an outrageous charge especially since the ticket isn’t combined with any other area museums (i.e. Salibury, etc.)

    • Comment by Lilian

      Lilian Reply 6 July 2017 at 22:34

      Does this tip still work when you visit it? I plan to get there by public transport and walk along the mentioned route with my family. It would save us a lot.

      • Comment by Valine

        Valine Reply 14 July 2017 at 13:00

        Looking at the recent comments it still seems to work :)

  9. Comment by Nicki

    Nicki Reply 12 July 2017 at 10:40

    Thanka. Perfect instructions and we had a great view of the stones

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 14 July 2017 at 12:59

      Yeah! Thanks for letting us know :-)

  10. Comment by Frederik Winther

    Frederik Winther Reply 17 July 2017 at 16:04

    Thanks a ton! You saved us about 80 quid, and the view was still amazing! :)

  11. Comment by Britta Näsman

    Britta Näsman Reply 18 July 2017 at 16:32

    Thanx! That saved us a LOT of money ?

  12. Comment by Nick & Wim

    Nick & Wim Reply 29 July 2017 at 11:15

    This worked great. We’ve taken a very nice picture without tourists in front of the stones, but it’s really a rip off. The stones were smaller than we thought they were.

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 19 August 2017 at 16:52

      I’ll pass your complaint on to the people who built Stonehenge 5000 years ago without any modern technology. I’m sure they’ll understand.

  13. Comment by Alex Bogges

    Alex Bogges Reply 4 August 2017 at 16:19

    Worked perfectly! Your maps showed us exactly where to go. Thank you for saving our family of five £62 because of 20 metres and a fence!

  14. Comment by KG

    KG Reply 5 August 2017 at 23:11

    Tried it today (5th August 2017) and it worked perfect!! In fact, we parked our car very close at the farmland gate hence saving a bit of walking.

  15. Comment by bill

    bill Reply 11 August 2017 at 22:46

    Great instructions, and the hippies showed us the way

  16. Comment by Marco

    Marco Reply 18 August 2017 at 11:40

    18th of August 2017
    Still works! Saved us 66 pounds!
    Many thanks from the Netherlands!

  17. Comment by Kirsty Clark

    Kirsty Clark Reply 24 August 2017 at 22:43

    Thanks for the tip. Parked right opposite the farmers gate. Short walk up to the stones. If you wait with your camera poised and you react quickly when there’s a gap in the paying visitors walking round you will get some shots with no one else in. Just beware the dirt track road is very bumpy – go slow!

  18. Comment by Michelle Jackson

    Michelle Jackson Reply 27 August 2017 at 16:14

    Hi just wanted to thank you for posting this. Worked for us today. Got a few strange looks from the paying public but was brilliant! Got an amazing photo after a bit of patience and waited for the crowds to subside. Then pointed some other unknowing people in the right direction. Thankyou! X

  19. Comment by Cearbhall

    Cearbhall Reply 14 September 2017 at 16:23

    Thanks for this , it’s ridiculously expensive , I’ve the same issue with turning any famous landmark into a cash cow , Ireland is brilliant at it , cliffs of moher are a prime example

  20. Comment by Ron

    Ron Reply 27 September 2017 at 12:57

    Great advice! Unfortunately it looks like they are in the process of putting a fence around the perimeter which may be used to block the view. It may just be meant to replace the barbed wire fence without obstructing the view. We’ll see…

  21. Comment by kdog

    kdog Reply 13 October 2017 at 15:58

    also consider Avebury near devizes. It’s free to visit (though you need either national trust or to pay to park) there are more stones, you can touch them, and there is a pub/coffee shop, ice cream shop etc. much more interesting then being fleeced at stone henge in my opinion

  22. Comment by Barbara

    Barbara Reply 13 November 2017 at 15:45

    Thank you for your clear directions! We visited this weekend free of cost. I will note that even the employees for the tour guided us on the “free” path which eased my mind in not paying(feeling a bit guilty at first). The road was a little bumpy but the little car made it through just fine.

  23. Comment by Heather Edwards

    Heather Edwards Reply 23 November 2017 at 12:58

    Grazie from Italy! Spot on location.

  24. Comment by philip

    philip Reply 27 November 2017 at 10:32

    Visited 24th November and for free. The road was bumpy and had car sized puddles, wasn’t sure how deep they were, but were fine.

    The security guard even opened the gate to the free path for us.

  25. Comment by Wilko

    Wilko Reply 5 January 2018 at 00:10

    The national trust own the land arou d. There is often a NT person on a stall who will tell you its all free!!!
    Another way to do it is find woodhenge a NT site. Free parking. Visit that area then there is a clearly marked walk which takes you down “the avenue” supposedly an old procession route.
    It takes you to the same side of the stones as you view it for free.
    The drove (mud road) is usually closed off for safety on summer solstice, not sure of the other 3 dates.
    EH have been trying to close it for years but i believe it is owned by NT and they object and keep it open. I have heard the Army also use the road for access, however not to sure about that.

  26. Comment by Elena

    Elena Reply 17 February 2018 at 15:02

    Hi! Thank you sooo much! My husband had finally had a day off, so we decided to visit Stonehenge. We have no clue that it is no free. Were quite disappointed on arriving there. We save to buy a flat and try to avoid any unnecessary spendings. I come across your post and was so excited of the opportunity to see it so close.Thank you indeed!!!

  27. Comment by John

    John Reply 11 March 2018 at 07:52

    09th March 2018. Still working. You saved us a fortune. The road is full of huge potholes but and mud, but we managed to get down ok in a VW polo driving slowly. Thanks so much.

  28. Comment by Alice

    Alice Reply 27 March 2018 at 07:49

    Will this still be happening september 21st 2018? I tried googling, it seems the date september 23rd is coming up on some sites. Would only like to know because we will be passing through on the 21st and i thought that would have been perfect. Also can you use the path while its open to the public with the paid tours? Im very scared of getting yelled at lol

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 27 March 2018 at 10:26

      Hey Alice,
      don’t worry, you can always use the path. It’s a public walking path and nobody will yell at you. In the other comments here you can read that this works fine, so no need to be scared 😉 As for the Autumn equinox: this will be on the morning of September 23rd this year. Just stick around a bit. Probably there will already be some people camping there on the 21st.

  29. Comment by Imad

    Imad Reply 7 April 2018 at 04:43

    Hi Valine, My family & I will be visiting the UK from the States in July. I read somewhere that in order to avoid the A303 traffic jam, it is better to come from the Larkhill side. I was wondering if Willoughby Rd leads to the free farmer’s gate. Thank you

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 23 April 2018 at 12:02

      Hi Imad, on the map it does look like Willoughby Rd also leads to the farmers gate. We have not tried it ourselves though. You could give it a try and report back here if it worked 😉

      • Comment by Imad

        Imad Reply 25 April 2018 at 22:25

        Hi Valine,

        Thanks for your prompt response. It looks like you can get there from Larkhill side according to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAo7hEFL574 (3:58 shows the actual gate a couple of folks strolling back… :) )

    • Comment by jason | BodesWell

      jason | BodesWell Reply 29 April 2018 at 16:43

      Yes – we came in from that side today!

  30. Comment by Jessica

    Jessica Reply 23 April 2018 at 11:34

    15th April 2018- still working! Thank you guys:)

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 23 April 2018 at 12:03

      Great! Thanks for reporting :-)

  31. Comment by vali

    vali Reply 5 May 2018 at 22:59

    today i was there. it is still free.Thank you

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 14 May 2018 at 12:42

      Great post, Hans. It’s good extra info with the photos of the path and the entry gate.

  32. Comment by Keerthi

    Keerthi Reply 14 May 2018 at 12:16

    14/05/2018 still working .Thank you :)

  33. Comment by Cristian

    Cristian Reply 20 May 2018 at 14:55

    Hello everyone. Just came today at Stonehenge. The path described is still available. Thanks so much

  34. Comment by Stewart

    Stewart Reply 21 May 2018 at 22:01

    Tried it today 21st May. Perfect! Thanks :-)

  35. Comment by manoj

    manoj Reply 27 May 2018 at 08:37

    Hi All – your information was perfect and we achieved a successful visit this week. I a hoping i can post the photos to help other people. we just put [ 3 Stonehenge Rd, Amesbury, Salisbury SP4 7BA ] or coordinates 51.179979, -1.829872 into Google maps and arrived about 50 metres near stonehenge. Then walked along a parallel path that is for FREE. there were a number camper vans who helped us to ensure we went in the right way.

    One can enter via the A303 or also via the LArks hill side onto Willoughby road. The whole road is connected. although it is a little bumpy and muddy.

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 3 June 2018 at 08:29

      Thanks for the additional info. And glad it worked :)

  36. Comment by Mona Bhandari

    Mona Bhandari Reply 29 May 2018 at 10:08

    Hi Valine,
    Thank you for the information. I will be going to Bath from London on 21st June and was planning to go via Stonehenge and was disappointed that it will be shut but I intend to see it from outside now. Will the small road be closed at around 10 am on 21st June? Where else can we see the stones from then? Please advise!
    Thanks

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 1 June 2018 at 14:55

      Hi Mona, we are not working at Stonehenge but just travellers sharing their experience. But I googled for you and you’re lucky: on the 21st is the summer solstice celebration so you can be touching the stones for free. Here is more info from the site of English Heritage.

  37. Comment by Alex

    Alex Reply 1 June 2018 at 08:05

    Wenn ich mit dem Bus von Salisbury komme, wird man direkt beim Visitor Center abgeliefert! Wie komme ich dann zu dieser Straße?

    • Comment by Valine

      Valine Reply 1 June 2018 at 15:24

      Hey Alex, I’m not German but I hope you can understand my reply in english. It’s a 2 km walk from the visitor center to the stones. You could set the coordinates in your phone or GPS and be adventurous 😉

  38. Comment by Imad

    Imad Reply 30 July 2018 at 01:54

    Greetings,

    We just got back – essentially, parked in the visitors parking lot for free and walked 20 mins (~ 1 mile) towards the *free* farmers gate.

    Since we had a rental car, we did try going there via Larkhill, but the roads were blocked and we did not see any campers parked by the farmers gate.

    Good luck!
    Imad

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go top